The Galaxy S23 Ultra, launched last night at Samsung’s Unpacked 2023 event, may seem like a very familiar device when you compare it with last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, but that’s not to say that there are no updates. What you must know is that the S22 Ultra was— and is— already a spec monster and those specs will always have a ceiling. Purely on specs, you can say that the S23 Ultra is incremental and that is okay. What’s not okay is to write off the S23 Ultra just yet because of that.
We’ll tell you more about the S23 Ultra and whether or not it’s a good idea to invest in one but looking at its spec-sheet, it’s fairly clear where Samsung has put its money on in this generation. While the S22 Ultra marked the beginning of a new chapter, what with the big “note” crossover, the S23 Ultra is about refining and fine tuning what was— and is— already a benchmark for Android flagships. It’s about making the overall experience a bit nicer, a bit better, and for that Samsung deserves all the credit.
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Here’s how the new Galaxy S23 Ultra compared to last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra in terms of design and feature set:
- The design of the phone is not new per se, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a relatively flatter back which should entail slightly better ergonomics. It is still big and hefty though, so that’s not changing much. The build materials have received an upgrade with Samsung using more sustainable materials including Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front as well as on the back.
- The display appears to be unchanged from last year, at least on paper, which is to say that you get a 6.8-inch 1440p LTPO AMOLED display with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz (can go as low as 1Hz). The panel can top 1,750nits. Biometrics are handled by an ultrasonic fingerprint reader.
- Samsung says it has partnered with Qualcomm to get first dibs on what it’s calling a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 optimised exclusively for Galaxy for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Graphics and machine learning upgrades seem at the top of the list for the duo and when paired with some intricate vapour cooling, Samsung says the S23 Ultra will be able to pull “faster and smoother gaming performance” over the S22 Ultra. You get up to 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage in the phone.
- The S23 Ultra has a new 200 MP camera sensor (versus 108 MP in S22 Ultra) that sits behind a bit wider f/1.7 aperture lens. This should theoretically lead to better low-light photos. There are three more cameras in this phone, a 12 MP ultrawide, joined by two more 10 MP telephotos— one for 3x and another for 10x optical zoom. Those seem same as the S22 Ultra. The 40 MP selfie camera seen in the S22 Ultra has been swapped with a 12 MP shooter in the S22 Ultra, but Samsung is promising “enhanced nightography” in both photo and video modes despite a cut-down on megapixel count.
- The S23 Ultra has the same 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast wired and wireless charging as the S22 Ultra.
- The Galaxy S23 Ultra will be available with 12GB/256GB for Rs 1,24,999, 12GB/512GB for Rs 1,34,999, and 12GB/1TB for Rs 1,54,999. That’s a bit higher than what the S22 Ultra cost at launch. The Galaxy S22 Ultra price in India was set at Rs 1,09,999 for 12GB/256GB while a version with 12GB/512GB configuration was launched at Rs 1,18,999. The 1TB storage option cost Rs 1,34,999 at launch.